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I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Fresh Homemade Cherry Pie

It’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t like cherry pie. Making it is another story, however, as putting together a good pie crust can be intimidating. I have my mother to thank for having demystified pie crust. Pies were her specialty and her crust was always delicious. Even better, it’s really easy.

That said, I had a friend whose father began baking pies for his family after he retired. He bragged about how he could make any pie they wanted and he’d whip one up a couple of times a week. The family at first were astonished as he had never been a cook much less a baker. Finally, he was found out when a tell-tale pie crust package was found along with two cans of filling. The fact remains, he did “whip up a homemade pie,” and if this feels safest, why not?

Unfortunately, there’s only a brief window each summer to locate and bake with fresh sour cherries. Otherwise, you’ll need to find canned sour cherries or use the pre-made cherry pie filling. Personally, I far prefer the plain sour cherries as you have far more control over the flavor and texture of the filling. While February is a long way from cherry season, it’s awfully nice to have a warm piece of pie on a chilly February evening even if our first president never chopped down a cherry tree.

Feel free to use your own pie crust or you can use The Queen’s Pie Crust, which I highly recommend. If time is an issue, feel free to purchase a packaged pie crust. Life’s too short to stress over making the “perfect” pie — but if you’re up for it, it’s worth making it all by hand. My last tip is cherry pie is especially good with toasted almond ice cream, but even plain old vanilla works just fine!

Cherry Pie
 
Recipe type: Pie
Cuisine: Dessert
Ingredients
  • Pie crust for a two-crust, 9-inch pie
  • 2 15-1/2 ounce cans of sour cherries in water or 4 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup of cherry water (save the balance for a smoothie or fruit punch)
  • 1 - 1-1/3 cups sugar (to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca flour or 4 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons corn starch or 2-2/3 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Rain's Choice Vanilla Sugars
Instructions
  1. Prepare pie crust and allow to chill for at least two hours or overnight (for maximum flakiness).
  2. Drain cherries of their liquid if using canned cherries, saving liquid separately.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 cup cherry juice, sugar and tapioca flour, stirring well. Continue to stir until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  4. Add cherries and blend well.
  5. Roll out pie crust, and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Add cherry mixture. Place pea-sized pieces of butter on top of the filling if using and cover with second crust. Crimp the crust.
  6. Using a pastry brush, lightly cover the entire crust with water or milk, the sprinkle vanilla sugar over the top of the crust. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Serve plain or with ice cream.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 77534 Fat: 3630g Saturated fat: 895g Unsaturated fat: 2526g Trans fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 10921g Sugar: 279g Sodium: 60819mg Fiber: 11g Protein: 697g Cholesterol: 61mg

 

Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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